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Fences to Protect Pasargadae

Security tightens at the world heritage site of Pasargadae, Fars province, as it will be fully fenced to a radius of 4 kilometers.
Staircase leading to a raised platform, possibly
used for religious purposes, located close to
Pasargadae Historical Complex, Fars province

Tehran, 12 October 2006 (CHN) -- The historical complex of Pasargadae and the tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid dynasty, as well as its surrounding historical sites will be enclosed by fences in order to protect the area from further destruction caused by illegal diggers. The fence will encompass an area 4 kilometers in radius and will also include the historical site known as the “Holy Area.”
Announcing this news, Hamid-Reza Rezayi, director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Marvdasht said: “This area enclosing Pasargadae had previously been fenced; however, the fence became demolished at some parts over time and this is what made us start putting fences around it again.” He also said that the new fencing covers a larger area so that the sections including the “Holy Area” which had not been included in the former fencing will this time be taken in.
The decision came after last December illegal diggers devastated about a third of the staircase of the “Holy Area” of Pasargadae using hammers in order to find a treasure promised in a manuscript found earlier. This area is not located within Pasargadae historical complex, the reason of which is not clear, and thus was not as securely protected as the rest of the site. When the case was reported to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Fars province, the authorities doubled the number of security guards in the area to prevent further devastation of the site.
Nearly a month later, restoration experts started their works on this ancient monument and put back some stones which had fallen off the staircase. However, the scale of the damage caused to some parts was so immense that some stones had been turned into tiny fragments, impossible to be restored. Yet experts decided not to use any extra pieces of stones when renovating the staircase in order to maintain its historic properties.
Staircases of the “Holy Area” of the historical site of Pasargadae lead to a raised platform which seems to be a place of worship and for this reason the area is regarded as being sacred. It was constructed during the Achaemenid dynastic era (550 BC–330 BC) by the order of Cyrus the Great. Many experts believed that devastation of the staircase of the “Holy Area” by smugglers is comparable to the loss of one of the pillars of Persepolis.
According to the Director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Marvdasht, the process of fencing the historical complex of Pasargadae and its surrounding sites has already started and 30 percent of the work has been completed. “All security measures have been implemented and a proper foundation has been ensured in installation of the fences,” added Rezayi.
Total budget sought for this project was estimated at approximately 300,000 USD which was obtained; and it is anticipated that the project would come to an end in less than 4 months.
Pasargadae is considered one of the most important historical sites in Iran which bears traces of Persia under the Achaemenid rulers. It was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens, and the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of the rich civilization which lived in Persia at the time.
Particularly noteworthy vestiges in this ancient site include: the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great; Tal-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace, and gardens.
Pasargadae was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.
The historical complex of Pasargadae was registered in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in 2004.
Excavations in Pasargadae Resumed after 40 Years
Destruction of one of Pasargadae’s Staircases
Pasargadae Security Guards Duplicated
Restoration of Parts of Pasargadae Staircase Started

... Payvand News - 10/13/06 ... --

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